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Posted: 10/24/2001 11:44:33 PM EDT
Have any of you SHTF guys given any thought to a scenario with EMP. For those that don't know, EMP is Electro Magnetic Pulse - somethign that was discovered originally to occur during a nuclear detonation. However, science has managed to advance the art to the point of not requiring a Nuclear event to create an EMP. Even worse, it can be created (as I heard at a meeting tonight, from an emergency management person) by a device that can fit into something as small as a brief case. Now, I'll grant you that this would limit it's effective "effect" radius, however, if one showed up in exactly the right place, a larger area of the communications infrastructure would go down. Living in Seattle during the last Earthquake, I observed how quickly the cell system became overloaded, and this would simply wipe it out - along with all landlines, etc... Now I'm thinking, that we've been through situations where cables were cut and an entire half of a city has been without phones and regular communications for a day or two, but I would expect something additional to occur in this situation, to cause widespread panic within the area. So, what are the comments from the rest of you guys out there? Tin foil hat time? Of course my source is reliable, ex-navy (officer), currently an emergency communications co-ordination director for a very large geographic area. I rather doubt he would be buffalo'ing me.
Link Posted: 10/25/2001 12:24:26 AM EDT
EXACTLY the reason that I have MECHANICAL S&G LOCKS on most of my safes ! Ya never know....
Link Posted: 10/25/2001 1:09:03 AM EDT
Link Posted: 10/25/2001 1:36:53 AM EDT
This is one of the reasons I have been considering purchasing an older diesel 4WD vehicle. One without any of the electronic crap on all the newer models. Maybe a mid-80s GM truck. Might be relatively gutless, but in the event of an EMP burst, I'd rather be a little slow than stalled altogether.
Link Posted: 10/25/2001 2:18:33 AM EDT
Link Posted: 10/25/2001 3:48:19 AM EDT
EMP is a real threat, although I'm surprised to hear its possible from a 'briefcase'. The normal scenario is to generate an EMP from a high altitude nuclear weapon. Many precautions relating to EMP are taken in the design and manufacture of full mil-spec communications gear to make it resistant to EMP. As you may have noticed however the DoD uses large numbers of commercial computers and these are not EMP proof, at least not in normal office environments. Another EMP issue relates to the electric power grid. All those wires strung out there form a huge antenna system, which will be effected by an EMP. So when the EMP hits, most of your favorite electronic stuff is going to be toasted. Thats all I know.
Link Posted: 10/25/2001 4:17:47 AM EDT
EMP destroys by induction. The principle of a magnetic field being passed over a conductor. While sensitive electronics would be vulnerable, electric motors, power transmission wires, home wiring and such would be unaffected. Diesel is the way to go. With a standard transmission and mechanical fuel shut off a diesel needs no elecrical power to operate at all. Planerench out.
Link Posted: 10/25/2001 8:14:30 AM EDT
I received some further information from my source last evening after this post - unfortunately, I was already headed to the rack, and I don't have it on the computer here at work. If I can get my wife to forward it, I'll post it, else I'll post it this evening. But the item that cought my eye in the short quote of one article he sent was that there are actually scientists that believe hand-grenade size weapons of this type exist... of course, they haven't actually [b]seen[/b] one... He had only mentioned breifcase sized versions.
Link Posted: 10/25/2001 1:46:20 PM EDT
Well, here is the link... [url]http://www.house.gov/jec/hearings/espionag/schweitz.htm[/url] Interesting stuff, even if it [b]is[/b] nearly 5 years old.
Link Posted: 10/25/2001 7:01:15 PM EDT
Popular Mechanics had a front page article last month about this. Dont you guys read anything but gun magazines?[URL]popularmechanics.mondosearch.com/cgi-bin/MsmGo.exe?grab_id=8513340&CFGNAME=MssFind%2Ecfg&host_id=1&page_id=1841&query=EMP&hiword=EMP+[/url] not sure if this link will work.
Link Posted: 10/25/2001 7:18:58 PM EDT
I was under the assumption that in order for the EMP to produce an induction overload, a circuit had to be closed. Meaning if your computer (or whatever else) is turned off, it is protected from EMP. Maybe I am way off base here too. Microelectronics that deal with switches that have gaps measured 1/1000th of an inch might be able to be bridged by an intense pulse. Ideas, anyone?
Link Posted: 10/25/2001 7:54:04 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Boltman: I was under the assumption that in order for the EMP to produce an induction overload, a circuit had to be closed. Meaning if your computer (or whatever else) is turned off, it is protected from EMP. Maybe I am way off base here too. Microelectronics that deal with switches that have gaps measured 1/1000th of an inch might be able to be bridged by an intense pulse. Ideas, anyone?
View Quote
EMP is electromagnetic pulse. Think in terms of an antenna. Anything resembling an antenna, will develop a potential (voltage) with respect to ground. The voltage is somewhat proportional to the size of the antenna. Power lines would have a much larger voltage than a shortwave antenna, which would be more than a mobile antenna, which is more than a handheld antanna. Conventional Wisdom holds that handheld radios are probally unaffected. Vehicles are likely to emerge un affected.
Link Posted: 10/25/2001 8:01:03 PM EDT
The Popular Science article covers it well. I was thinking it was '30's technology, but they put the date at 1925. Other names are "EMP Gun," "RF/radio cannon" and "HERF gun" Sure, a nuclear detonation will also put out a large EMP and on a larger scale. Also, an EMP created at a high altitude is more broad than a ground-based EMP. But any one of us here could easily make our own. The article puts the cost around $400 to build one, but probably even less than that. It wouldn't have the range of a nuclear device, but set one off in the right location, and disruption could become a big problem. If your computer is off (circuits open), and EMP could still destroy it. Mostly due to heat build up on the integrated circuits themselves. The heat builds up much faster than it can be dissapated resulting in the surface of the circuit pathways melting.
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